The Brooklyn Museum

Delicately carved fish, ibexes, lions, sheep, dogs, asses, jackals and cattle parade across the handle of a 5,200-year-old Egyptian hunting knife. The boss, or hump, in the middle of the handle improved the user’s grip.

The technique of attaching ivory handles to tools of other materials originated in Egypt about 4000 B.C. Knife handles like this one were fitted to finely chiseled flint blades with gold bands. The band on this knife is missing but is known from another example.